Negotiations with family doctors: the government’s “firefighter” called in as reinforcements

The Minister of Health has called on his specialist in thorny issues to resolve the impasse in the issue of access to family doctors.

Nicknamed the government’s “firefighter”, former Deputy Minister Lise Verreault has been entrusted with the resolution of numerous crises in recent years, both under the Liberals and under the CAQ.

Serious management problems at the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, the taxi industry disrupted by the arrival of Uber, the death of Joyce Echaquan: she is called when the house burns down.

This time, Ms. Verreault will be responsible for leading negotiations with the Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec (FMOQ) to allow better access to a family doctor.

Quebec and family physicians are trying to reach an agreement on patient management by health professionals other than a general practitioner, such as a specialized nurse practitioner, explains the director of communications for the FMOQ, Jean-Pierre Dion. .

The issue of capitation, ie remuneration based on monitoring a group of patients rather than on a fee-for-service basis, will also be part of the discussions.


On both sides of the negotiating table, the arrival of Ms. Verreault is seen with a favorable eye. “She is a respected woman who knows the reality of family doctors,” emphasizes Jean-Pierre Dion.

As former Assistant Deputy Minister for Health, Lise Verreault had already been responsible for negotiating with the medical federations. Earlier in her career, she also held the position of CEO of the Bas-Saint-Laurent Health and Social Services Agency.

Moreover, the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, has repeated several times recently that the negotiations are going well.

This is a significant change in tone between the two parts. During the study of Bill 11, recently, the FMOQ described the negotiations of the last few months as a “dinner of idiots”.

Moreover, Bill 11 remains a bone of contention between the two parties, in parallel with the negotiations. The FMOQ rejects Quebec’s desire to have access to the appointment slots of general practitioners, despite the amendments recently made to the legislative document.

Officially retired, Lise Verreault will not be unemployed. In addition to the file with the FMOQ, the Legault government gave him the mandate to shed light on allegations of questionable management of public funds and poor care at the Nunavik Regional Health Board.

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